Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Disable Alert Sounds in Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 5

In this tutorial, we’ll be discussing how to disable alert sounds in Ubuntu 20.04. Alert sounds can sometimes be distracting, especially when you’re focused on a task. Thankfully, Ubuntu 20.04 provides a way to disable these alert sounds.

Quick Answer

To disable alert sounds in Ubuntu 20.04, you can use either the dconf-editor or the terminal. In dconf-editor, navigate to org.gnome.desktop.sound and toggle off the event-sounds key. Alternatively, in the terminal, use the command "gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.sound event-sounds false". Adjusting volume levels for system sounds in the Settings menu may also help.


Before we start, make sure you have administrative access to your Ubuntu system. This is because you’ll need to install packages and modify system settings.

Method 1: Using dconf-editor

Step 1: Open Terminal

Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal. The terminal is where you’ll enter all the commands for this tutorial.

Step 2: Install dconf-editor

The dconf-editor is a configuration editor that allows you to change some of the settings not exposed by the default settings app. To install it, run the following command:

sudo apt install dconf-editor

In this command, sudo allows you to run commands with administrative privileges, apt is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and install is the command to install a new package.

Step 3: Launch dconf-editor

After the installation is complete, you can launch the dconf-editor by typing the following command in the terminal:


Step 4: Navigate to the sound settings

In the dconf-editor window, navigate to org.gnome.desktop.sound. Here, org, gnome, desktop, and sound are hierarchical paths to the sound settings.

Step 5: Disable the alert sounds

Look for the key named event-sounds and toggle it off to disable the alert sounds.

Method 2: Using Terminal

Alternatively, you can use the terminal to disable alert sounds. This method is quicker and more straightforward.

Step 1: Open Terminal

Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal.

Step 2: Run the command

Enter the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.sound event-sounds false

In this command, gsettings is a command-line interface to GSettings, which allows you to change system settings. set is used to change a setting, org.gnome.desktop.sound is the path to the sound settings, event-sounds is the setting for alert sounds, and false disables the alert sounds.

Adjusting Volume Levels

If the above solutions do not work, you can try adjusting the volume levels for system sounds. Go to Settings, then Sound, and edit the bar for System Sounds under the Volume Levels header. Make sure the slider is not set to 0 and adjust it as required.


In this tutorial, we’ve shown you two ways to disable alert sounds in Ubuntu 20.04. Whether you prefer using a GUI or the terminal, you now have the knowledge to customize your Ubuntu system to suit your needs.

Can I re-enable the alert sounds if I disable them?

Yes, you can re-enable the alert sounds by following the same steps mentioned in the tutorial, but instead of toggling the event-sounds key off, you’ll toggle it on.

Will disabling alert sounds affect other system sounds?

Disabling alert sounds will only affect the specific sounds played for system alerts. Other system sounds, such as audio playback or notifications, will not be affected.

Will disabling alert sounds affect application-specific notification sounds?

No, disabling alert sounds will not affect application-specific notification sounds. This setting only applies to system-level alert sounds.

Can I disable alert sounds for specific applications?

No, the methods mentioned in this tutorial will disable alert sounds system-wide. There is currently no built-in way to disable alert sounds for specific applications in Ubuntu 20.04.

Will disabling alert sounds affect accessibility features?

Disabling alert sounds will not affect accessibility features such as screen readers or visual alerts. These features are separate from the system alert sounds and can be configured independently.

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